Open invitation: Road to the 2020 Zimbabwe Music Awards


By Richard Dube


The Zimbabwe music awards 2020 edition dubbed ‘Zima2020’ is business unusual – through new partnerships, new sounds, new genres, new categories, new expertise and new passions.

This year we celebrate 16 years of musical excellence and creativity, providing a high-profile, multi-faceted and rich cultural diversity of Zimbabwean music.

Zima is the only, all- encompassing, national registered music awards in Zimbabwe.

Now with a new team boasting of a wide-ranging experience in the industry, both locally and internationally. This team has combined expertise gained from local and international festivals and awards such as, the Bulawayo arts awards, Glastonbury, MTV Africa music awards, and the South African music awards.

We commit to :
To annually and consistently recognize, promote and celebrate our musicians, their music and the music support systems through strengthening the Zimbabwe music

Aawards’ Total Infrastructure:

  •  To reiterate on Zima’s unwavering value system that is anchored on integrity,
  •  Transparency and accountability for the protection of brand Zima, its positioning, and association.
  •  To ensure sustainable growth and mutual beneficiation in the Zimbabwe music industry through fostering strategic
  • Smart partnerships with industry stakeholders
  • To preserve the Zimbabwe musical legacy and heritage through Zima’s custodial
  • Culture of continuous research, documentation and archiving.

The Zima2020 Roadmap

  • Nov 11, 2019 – opening of entries
  • Dec 31, 2019 – closing of entries
  • Jan 1 – 10, 2020 – adjudication
  • Jan 11, 2020 – nominees announcement
  • Jan 25, 2020 – the awards event
  • Jan 25, 2020 – the after party

The Awards


1. Best female artist of the year
2. Best male artist of the year
3. Best group/duo of the year
4. Best new comer of the year
5. Best album of the year


6. Zim dancehall
7. Sungura
8. Afro pop
9. Hip hop
10. Contemporary gospel
11. Traditional gospel
12. Rnb & Soul
13. Jazz
14. Dance (house/gqom/kwaito/edm)
15. Tshibilika
16. Traditional (folk/chinyakare/chimurenga)
17. Traditional (Folk/Ezomdabu/Imbube)
18. Best alternative


19. Producer of the year
20. Engineer of the year
21. Best music video
22. Best videographer


23. Best collaboration
24. Best dj (radio/ club)
25. Best promoter
26. Best international Zim artist
27. Best corporate sponsor
28. Retro icon award 1
29. Retro icon award 2
30. Lifetime achievement award
31. Most downloaded song


Song of the year

Creating a fair, transparent and accountable system

Record companies and individual artists are required to submit entries in accordance with published rules of Zimbabwe music awards (Zima rules). All recordings (singles and albums) submitted for Zima 2020 must have been commercially released in Zimbabwe during the period 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 (“the entry period”).

Zima provides entrants with forms that must be completed and submitted online or physically in receiving boxes. On completion of entries, accompanying assets are required to have reached Zima office by no later than the published closing dates, failing which the entry is disqualified.


Entries received are screened for compliance with Zima rules in order to ensure that they are eligible and that they were submitted into the correct award categories.

Vetting committee members overseen by designated Zima officials, carry out this screening process, known as vetting.

No artistic or technical judgments are made during vetting, and all ineligible entries that do not comply with the Zima rules are disqualified subject to informing the relevant entrants and providing them with reasons.

Entries that are found to be in incorrect categories do not get disqualified but the vetting committee may move them to more appropriate places in consultation with the entrants, who shall have final say on location of their entries.

Panel of Judges

A panel of judges adjudicates all Zima categories with exception of the public vote on song of the year (soy). Judging panel composition gets reviewed annually.

Members of the steering committees select the judges and members of the supervisory committee confirm them, taking into account their level of expertise in the relevant category, and their general knowledge of the music industry.

Eligible Zima entries are forwarded to the judges who adjudicate using the Zima electronic judging system, in accordance with defined guidelines and by applying the assessment criteria for each category.

The Zima electronic judging system is configured with a weighting criterion for each category, which is not visible to the judges. The weighting criterion is pre-determined by the members of various steering committees and it contributes to the final ranking of the judges’ choices in each category.

In the interest of system and process integrity, independent auditors collate results returned by judges into auditable sets.

The auditors then enumerate results on which a list of up to a maximum five nominees per category is based and ensure that the choices of judges have been arrived at in accordance with all the relevant rules of each category. Once nominees for all categories have been collated, they are ready to be announced. Finally, winners are announced at the awards ceremony.

Your are all invited to this exciting journey.

On behalf of the Zimbabwe Music Awards

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